Archive for Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lawrence school board to hear finance advisory council report

March 10, 2013


The Lawrence school board will hear a report Monday that compares the district's financial picture with that of other districts of varying sizes and demographic makeups.

The Finance Advisory Board was established in January 2012 to provide feedback on finance and budget issues. The seven-member group is chaired by former school board member Cindy Yulich.

Also during Monday's meeting, the board will decide whether to charge the advisory panel with oversight of how bond proceeds are spent and make recommendations for the use of any underspent budgets and interest earnings.

The report to be presented Monday compares the Lawrence district with 21 other districts in Kansas on factors such as total spending per pupil, total taxes and debt-per-student ratios. A Power Point presentation of the report is available online on the district's website.

The report shows the Lawrence district on the lower end of the scale for its debt-per-student ratio and about average for its total property tax mill levy.

The report is expected to become part of public discussions about the district's proposed $92.5 million bond issue that voters will decide in the April 2 election.

District officials are calling it a "no-tax-increase" bond proposal because, if approved, they say those bonds would be issued in three phases, timed so that it will not result in an increase in the district's property tax levy for debt payments.

In other business, the board will:

• Consider renewing a licensing agreement with Follett Software for maintenance and support of library automation software.

• And give recognition to award winners in the Great Plains Regional National Engineers Week Future City Competition and the top winners of the district's Science and Engineering Fair.

The school board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the district office, 110 McDonald Drive.


KU_cynic 5 years, 2 months ago


Please identify the seven members of the advisory board and their backgrounds.

In the past it has often appeared that the elected school board ,members lack the acumen necessary to understand finances and budgets, leaving them at the mercy of the very staff they are supposed to be monitoring. That makes the advisory board very useful. However, because the board is appointed it also makes the identities and backgrounds of the members very important.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

"Also during Monday's meeting, the board will decide whether to charge the Finance Advisory Board with oversight of how bond proceeds are spent and make recommendations for the use of any underspent budgets and interest earnings."

I would vote no to this suggestion. I want the USD 497 BOE to be completely responsible for the bond money and how it gets spent. Should concerns arise taxpayers will want to address the BOE directly.

If any funds are still available after the projects are over I say place that money in the Vo-Tech Center. Not everyone wants to attend college.

The jobs for college grads are not as many as are graduating. These educated folks may want to consider learning a skill after graduation which could be the icing on the cake to employment. Make it available in Lawrence,Kansas just down the street from KU so to speak.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

Members of the Finance Advisory Council

--- Cindy Yulich, Chair

--- Alee Phillips, Vice-Chair

--- Derek Bailey

--- Michelle Fales

--- Karla Hughes

*District- Ex-Officio:

--- Kyle Hayden, Assistant Superintendent Business and Operations

--- Kathy Johnson, Division Director Finance

weeslicket 5 years, 2 months ago

imo: i wouldn't trust cindy yulich with anything more valuable than a single stick of gum. however, i am extremely relieved to see alle phillips on the list. i don't know anything about the other three people. no comment on kyle and kathy.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

Karla Hughes might be okay....... she is from the Sunflower family of bikes,camping gear etc etc etc.

FYI..... The board will have complete responsibility for how the funds are spent. The finance advisory committee has no authority for oversight; they will only provide assistance to help the board’s oversight of the funds.

buffalo63 5 years, 2 months ago

Sometimes the Board relies too heavily on the "Staff" and I would want someone other than Johnson (Finance) watching over how and where the bond funds are spent.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.